Saturday, May 4, 2013

Our Real Food Challenge

Wow it's been awhile! But that's what happens when you have a husband deployed, a baby to take care of, a house to keep up, and pharmacy school.  I'll update you on what's been happening in another post but I wanted to write about our 30 day real food challenge.

We get our produce delivered weekly from Hometown Harvest. It's an awesome company that delivers mostly organic produce from local farms and sometimes if they can't find it locally from sources elsewhere in the United States.  It's fairly inexpensive and a great time-saver for me because it means less trips to the grocery store.  We also get our milk, meat, eggs, and a few other things delivered from another company called South Mountain Creamery and we love it too!  Hometown Harvest started this 30-day real food challenge based off the 100 days of real food 10 day pledge. We decided to take on the challenge and only eat real food for the month of May.  We actually started the challenge a day late since we hadn't quite gotten our act together.  What does it mean to eat real food? It means that we eat hardly any processed food and a lot of food made from scratch.  Anything that is processed can only have 5 ingredients that are real food (for example we bought a bag of frozen veggies for a stir fry from Trader Joes). Here are the rules we are trying to follow (which were adapted from Michael Pollan's book I mention later).  I'll try and keep this blog updated with what we ate to keep myself accountable throughout the challenge and to show everyone that it really is possible to eat healthy wholesome food that tastes good.  I highly suggest everyone read Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto and Food Rules and to watch Food Inc (if you have Amazon Prime you can watch it for free).  I'll leave you with that and post later about a few things I have made.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lillian's Birth Story

This post is long overdue! I've been working on it a little at a time. 
I started having contractions at 1:10am on Tuesday, June 5th.  They felt like bad period cramps and were irregular. I started timing them on my contraction application on my cellphone because they made it difficult to sleep.   David woke up at 6am when his alarm went off and I told him "I don't think you're going to work today".  He proceeded to contact work to let them know I was in labor.  I then called my mother to have her come down since we were having a new A/C unit and furnace installed, our old one quit working the week before and it was getting hot out. Amazingly my mom was all ready to go and just had to pack up the dogs and drive down. David called his mother to let her know I was in labor. We got up and did a few things around the house until my mom came. I called the midwives at 9:14am and they had me come in to be checked. Thankfully I was seen by Stephanie Rhodes, one of the midwives I liked. She checked me and said I was between 2.5 and 3 cm dilated. She then asked me if I wanted some help moving things along and I said sure.  She stripped my membranes and said she would see me the next day with a baby in my arms. I went home and the contractions continued to be about 4-5mins apart. My mom needed to take the dogs on a walk so I went with her.  As we were walking I had to stop a few times during a contraction.  We got home and had lunch.  My mom and I made a freezer meal that I was planning on making. Then David and I went upstairs.  I started to feel nauseous and threw up my lunch. We decided I should try taking a shower to see if that would help the pain. Around 5pm my contractions were getting worse and I told David to take me to the hospital. We arrived a few minutes later (lol, since we live across the street) they admitted me and when the midwife came to check me I was only at 3-3.5cm dilated.  She wasn't very nice to me and scolded me for eating electrolyte chews that David thought would be a good idea.  She also said my contractions were too far apart and that I needed to not tense up as much. Her recommendation was for me to go home and come back later. So we went home. I sat on the couch and watched Once Upon A Time while trying to relax as much as possible.  My mom made dinner and I tried to eat but I wasn't hungry.  The contractions were getting worse and I told David I wanted a blessing. Brother Queen, our neighbor, and David gave me a blessing. At this point it was late at night and everyone was exhausted. I was too but I couldn't sleep. We went upstairs to lie down.  David slept while I tried to relax through my contractions. At one point it got so bad that I remember crying in the bathroom after I got up to pee for the millionth time. About 4am I couldn't take it anymore and I woke David up to tell him I didn't care about getting an epidural and that we should go to the hospital. He was very sweet and told me I could do it that I just needed someone to help me work through the contractions. He would tell me to wiggle my toes and fingers to relax my muscles and hw would breathe with me through the contraction. We finally went to the hospital at around 5am. They brought us back to the same room we were in before. The same nurse was still on shift and asked me if I was still doing a natural birth. I said I might want an epidural. They had an issue getting things set up in their system because they hadn't discharged me properly the first time. They hooked me up to an IV to push some fluids since I was a little dehydrated. She checked me and I was dilated to 5cm.  The nurse then strapped on the heart rate monitor to monitor Lillian and the contraction monitor to monitor my contractions. That was probably the most uncomfortable position for me to be in during my contractions.  Thankfully I only had to lay there for an hour. Once the nurse unhooked my IV and took the monitor off I was free to roam about.  I mostly sat on the couch with David waiting/resting before the next contraction hit. Once the contraction started I would have to stand up and rock from side to side while David coached me on how to breathe. He was an awesome coach.  He would watch me and tell me to wiggle my fingers/toes or to rub my belly to distract me from tensing up. We were pretty much left alone since the nurses/doctors/midwives were going through a shift change. My new nurse, Piya, was amazing. She was a short little Asian lady who was so encouraging of my choice to have a med-free birth. She set up the jetted tub area with towels in case I decided to use it (I didn't. Probably because lying down made the contractions feel worse. And the idea of undressing and being wet was not appealing.). Piya also found a birth ball for me to use and would bring me juice, jello, and popsicles to keep me hydrated and to have a little something in my stomach.  She would let me sit/ stand next to the monitors whenever she monitored my contractions which was so much better than lying in the bed.  At about 9am I still hadn't seen the midwife on shift and I was getting anxious that she wouldn't be there for the delivery.  I started to feel a lot of pressure and like I had to push.  I asked Piya to check my progress.  I was 9.5cm with a small lip in the front.  She had me lean over the top of the bed to put more pressure on the front.  Piya set up the birthing bars on the bed and I used those to help with the rest of labor. I remember feeling a ton of pressure and an urge to push.  I just did what my body wanted and at one point I either peed or my water finally broke.  The midwife arrived and ironically it was Stephanie, the same one I saw the day before.  She was excited to deliver my baby and I was happy it was one of the midwives I liked! At around 10am I was finally at 10cm and it was time to push.  They started getting things ready and grabbed another nurse to help.  Stephanie explained to me how I was going to push.  Then told me that on the next contraction we could start.  The funny part was that my contractions never really got close together.  They were still 3-4 minutes apart, which I'm sure helped me have my med free birth and Lillian's heart rate never really changed.  So we all sat there staring at each other waiting for the next contraction.  The nurses and midwife were all amazed at how calm I was.  Piya put her hands on my belly and watched the monitor to see/feel my contraction coming on.  After a few pushes they asked me if I wanted a mirror to see and I said yes.  It was so encouraging to watch her get closer and closer to being born.  I started hyper ventilating at one point so they put the oxygen mask on me and told me to breathe in deeply.  After that everything seemed to happen in a blur.  At 11:39am on June 6th Lillian entered the world.  I remember the midwife telling me to open my eyes and to reach down and grab Lillian.  I grabbed her under her armpits and pulled her onto my chest, it was so surreal.  She was slippery and I thought I was going to drop her.  She immediately started crying and didn't stop until they brought her to the nursery.  She even pooped on me!  One of the nurses finally asked if someone made sure she was indeed a girl.  They took her over to the incubator and weighed her, at some point David cut the cord but I don't even remember that part.  While they cleaned her off the midwife delivered the placenta and stitched my tiny tear, that hurt way worse than the whole labor, David held my hand and the nurses brought Lillian over to distract me.  When they were done David went with Lillian to the nursery.  The nice part of having a med free birth was being able to get up out of bed right after.  They brought Lily back from the nursery and I tried feeding her.  They then brought us to our room in the maternity ward where I stayed for 2 days.  Lillian had to stay an extra day due to jaundice.  Luckily they had a room for parents to stay in for NICU babies that wasn't being used so I spent the night there.  We finally got to go home on June 9th. I still can't believe she is mine.  I'm so glad I got the birth I wanted and to have a healthy beautiful little girl.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lillian Elizabeth Spencer

I'm terrible at keeping up with this blog! Our daughter made her appearance on June 6th at 11:39am. Her name is Lillian Elizabeth. She weighed 8lbs and was 20.25 inches long.  I ended up going into labor at 1am on the 5th, 34 hours total!  I'm working on writing up her birth story and will hopefully have it posted soon. Here are some pictures we took in the hospital.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Year, New Post

I meant to send out Christmas cards and had everything all set but then right before we were leaving to go to GA for Christmas I lost the box of cards I had purchased. Sorry to everyone that sent me a card I was going to send you one back but couldn't find the darn things!  Things have been busy since I last wrote and our house renos are coming along slowly but surely.  The kitchen has new counters and they are gorgeous!  We have someone coming up to help us finish all the little things that need to get done around the house. I'm hopeful that it will all get done before the end of the month so we can move our furniture and stuff out of storage and make this place a home! I'll post pictures when it's done.

We had Christmas early with my family on Dec. 21st. It was great to be able to spend time with my parents, siblings, sister-in-law, and nephew. For my mom's present we paid for a photography session so that she could have some nice pictures of the family. She was really happy about her gift.

We drove down to GA on the 23rd and spent Christmas with David's family. We really enjoyed being able to relax and enjoy one another's company. His parents had the house all decked out for the holidays, wish I had taken some pictures, it was gorgeous!  We drove back up here on the 29th since we had an important doctor's appointment on the 30th.

I scheduled my anatomy scan on Dec. 30th month's beforehand because I knew David would be able to make the appointment.  It was really awesome being able to see our baby move around and all the body parts.  When the tech first brought baby up on the screen baby was head down, butt over the head and feet dangling. It was too funny. She asked if we wanted to find out the gender which was not difficult to figure out right away since baby was sitting still with legs wide-open. If you didn't see our announcement on facebook here is a picture:
My instincts were right and everyone that told me what they thought baby was going to be were all right. We're having a little girl and everyone is thrilled!  My side of the family has tons of boys and so does David's.  My mother has 4 brothers, I have 3 brothers, and all my cousins but one are male.  My nana (grandmother) has only 3 granddaughters and so far 6 great-grandsons. I was so happy to share the news with her that we were giving her the first great-granddaughter.  David's dad had 4 brothers and David has only a brother.  It will be nice having a little less testosterone in the family.  She's going to be one spoiled girl!

The rest of the ultrasound went well.  Baby girl has all her body parts, organs, and everything looked great. She's growing right on target with an estimated due date of June 3rd/4th (depending on what calculator they are using). She might end up sharing a birthday with her daddy!  Here are few more pictures from the ultrasound for your viewing pleasure:

Everyone has been asking me for belly bump pictures but I'm sorry to disappoint I really don't have a belly yet. I'm at the stage that I like to call "fat girl" stage. People don't know whether I'm pregnant or just fat so it's safe not to ask me.  I'll definitely post a picture when I look like I'm pregnant.  This past Sunday marked 5months for me and half way through my pregnancy.  I'm also excited to say that I've finally been able to feel this little girl kicking and it's an awesome, but strange feeling.  I started feeling her about January 6th when I was driving to the grocery store. It kind of feels like a muscle twitch.

As far as names go we haven't picked anything out yet. We really haven't had much time to talk about it since we've both been really busy.  But once we do pick out her name we aren't revealing it until she makes her appearance. I would rather not have to deal with people making rude or inappropriate comments about the name we choose since it's such a personal and difficult thing to come up with in the first place.  For now she'll be called baby girl or whatever else we come up with.

I just started classes again last Monday and it's been extremely stressful and hectic to say the least.  We've had tons of assignments due already and lots of added lectures that aren't normally on the schedule.  If I'm not busy doing schoolwork I'm usually busy cooking, cleaning, and getting this place organized.

Here's to a New Year filled with new adventures. Can't wait to see what it has in store!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The lights have been up on the house for about a week now.  We are the only house in our row that has lights up, so they look extra awesome.

There are seven 25' lengths of C7 bulbs and three 25' lengths of mini-lights on the railings and bushes.  We will be adding more lights to the bushes soon.  The lights are controlled through a digital timer that is plugged into a 20 amp circuit by the front door.  They all turn on at 4:30 in the afternoon and turn off at midnight.  They turn back on at 4:45am and turn back off at 7:00am.

We are getting close to finishing the drywall on the second floor.  The remainder of the materials needed to finish the data wiring will be arriving soon.  After the drywall and the data wiring, we will be complete on the second floor and be able to completely move into at least one of the three floors for now.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What We've Been Up to

We've been really busy since the end of September.  We closed on our house September 28th and got to work with the renovations.  But not before we had to deal with getting the Jetta repaired since we were rear-ended on our way to close on the house.  That's the second time that car has been rear ended, poor Jetta.  Everyone involved in the accident was fine, thankfully the teens insurance paid the $6000 of repairs. David's dad came up from GA to stay for a week to help with rewiring the house.  He ended up staying for 5 weeks and we are so grateful for is help.  We also demolished the kitchen with the help of my brother and FIL.  The renovations are coming along slowly but surely.  I can't wait for it all to be done!  School has been keeping me busy with test after test. This semester has definitely been challenging and I can't wait for it to be over.  



Panorama of the demolition, makes the wood and window look crooked but they are not.

A few cabinets and microwave in place

Where the pantry used to be near the window. Now it's much more functional
The double ovens sit where the old fridge used to be.
 And.......last but not least baby Spencer will make His/Her debut sometime around June 4th, 2012. We are super excited about this next chapter in our life. Baby has perfect timing. I'll be done with my 2nd year of Pharmacy School at the beginning of May and will have to work for 2 weeks in a Hospital Pharmacy.  I'll have just enough time to squeeze that in before baby makes his/her appearance. My summer labs take place at the end of July and baby will be about a month or so old when that takes place.  Then I will have the rest of the summer to "relax" and enjoy spending some quality time with baby before my last year of classes starts in August.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bye Bye Summer!

Time has flown by so fast these last few months. We were busy running around the country and getting things ready to move.  After leaving Texas I went back to stay with my family, which is where we are now until the end of the month.  In May I finished my first year of pharmacy school and took a compounding course in Houston with some of my classmates.  It was lots of fun.
David went to CA and went on a mountaineering trip to Mount Shasta with his brother, my brother Jeff, his friend Chris, his dad and some of his dad's buddies.  They unfortunately didn't make it to the top but they all made it down safely.
In June I had my summer labs at school and an immunization course (I can officially vaccinate people!).

David and I attended a wedding of one of his buddies.
In July we made several trips from PA to GA getting things ready to move.  At the end of July we finally had orders and packed all of our stuff onto a truck from the storage unit it was in and moved it into another storage unit up in MD.  In August we finally found our first house, (We sign all the paperwork at the end of the month and it is officially ours!)
 I attended the wedding of one of my childhood friends in Canada and got to visit my brothers, I started my 2nd year of Pharmacy School and David started working at his new unit.

This month is going to be busy with me having tests every week for school and us finally closing on our first house.